Teachers’ Perspectives on Children With Type 1 Diabetes in German Kindergartens and Schools

Teachers’ Perspectives on Children With Type 1 Diabetes in German Kindergartens and Schools

AbstractThe number of children with type 1 diabetes is rising, and these children must manage their diabetes during the day while in kindergarten or school. A total of 678 German kindergarten and school teachers (89% female) attended a structured training program for supporting children with type 1 diabetes in their diabetes management. The teachers completed questionnaires on their overall self-perception of their ability to handle diabetes and institutional factors supporting children with type 1 diabetes. Of these teachers, 251 who were currently working with a child with type 1 diabetes provided further insight into the experiences of children with diabetes in school and kindergarten. Teachers reported deficits in three areas: knowledge about diabetes and diabetes management, institutional support, and communication with parents and health professionals. On average, they gave themselves only fair ratings on both their knowledge about diabetes (3.60 ± 1.10 on a 5-point scale) and their ability to assist children with their diabetes management (3.67 ± 1.09). Whereas general information about supporting children with type 1 diabetes seemed to have been provided by almost half of the institutions (43%), specific school policies for sports (30%), extracurricular activities such as field trips (20%), or activities including sleepovers (16%) were rare. Poor communication between teachers, parents, and health professionals was reported. These deficits indicated by kindergarten and school teachers underline the importance of structured trainings and written policies on type 1 diabetes to improve the status of children with type 1 diabetes in school and kindergarten.© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association

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